Libraries, On The Boards, Sustainable Design
Two years after the completion of the widely praised Shaw Center for the Arts, the City of Baton Rouge engaged Schwartz/Silver to design a new library for the city’s downtown. Located just one block from the Shaw, the River Center Library is intended to house a new model for library services. It plans for an evolving, multifaceted role within the community with dedicated programming spaces for adults, teens, and children. The library provides traditional collections as well as meeting rooms for community programming, outreach and creative collaboration; themed media walls, art walls, interactive kiosks, and conference rooms equipped with remote distance learning technology; a café, YouMedia/Tech Lab, business pods, foundation and grants center, maker room and recording studio.
The project responds to the local climate with a shaded public plaza, reading balconies, and trellised roof terrace, and large windows facing north and sculptural sunshade ribbons on the south, east and west windows. The new River Center Library doesn’t look like a typical building because it isn’t one. Although responsive to its immediate environment, the building stands out with energy and optimism, and establishes a distinctive identity of its own.
This project is a Joint Venture with WHLC Architecture.